Friday, July 25, 2014

moments in provence

When I first came, to be in the same part of France as the poet Rene Char, it was all about a kind of life that hasn't changed much in all these years since 1973. I still wash clothes in Genie and hang them on the clothesline, I still try not to have to make soup or whatever if it is the time of the sunset over the Dentelles de Montmirail I can see in the distance, i still find a white butterfly coming by the table a good omen, as one did right this minute. Of course, after 7 times of purchasing -- little by little, you will say, and that is true -- this land and field in front of me now, it has enlarged, the space around the cabanon. So has it itself, now having an upstairs structure, and some stones undergoot -- given me by Rene Char (you will build your house on poetry), all of that. But the birds and the sounds are the same.
My great neighbors have planted trees for me -- a parasol pine, that stretches up and around, two mulberry trees, one of which has mulberries, one not, a fig tree I got with a friend years ago now, and the little olive I planted upstairs when someone took the middle tree of my olive grove downstairs, to sell it, I guess.
Things are different, but are attached to things the same, so the Queen Anne's lace or the dandelions now grown into tall white flowers -- I don't always know what I'm looking at, but savor it all.
Today, one of Matthew's green coathangers I got for him, the same color as a mulberry leaf, is hanging from that tree, and I have spread out the very beautiful paintings Sooky Maniquant did -- ah, so long ago, but in no way sadly -- to go with poems of Char I  translated: Rencontre dans le vent, have spread them out on a bed in the room  Matthew and Theodore are sleeping in these days, visiting us. They are walking up the hill to the chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Anges now, and will be back for the  now 35 guests about to arrive.
Boyce has made salmon mousse and a jellied lamb concocion with star anise, and i will fill endive leaves with Tapenade green and black, and some pesto spread, and Janet has brought great wiine containers of rose and red, and we will serve those in large pitchers of gres (that clay everything used to be made of) and white wine from Cassiis for nostalgia's sake, when I used to go to the Camargo foundation in the summer to write.
And we will spread out in the field, children and bfalls and frisbies and we'll all stand around and be happy it isn't still storming -- if it isn't.  it is all so much a part of living here, even for a short time.
Which stretches out in the mind.

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